In Chris Rock’s opening monologue at the 88th Academy Awards, the host focused on the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations. Rock touched on the fact that many actors, including Jada Pinkett Smith, said they were boycotting the awards.
“Jada got mad, said she’s not coming. Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited,” Rock said.
He continued, “You get mad. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for ‘Wild Wild West.’ This year at the Oscars, things are going to be a little different. In the ‘in memoriam’ package it’s just going to be black people who were shot by the cops on their way to the movies. Yes, I said it, all right?”
Pinkett Smith announced she was boycotting the Oscars in January. In a video posted to Facebook, Pinkett Smith said she would not even watch the awards show on television.
“I ask the question: Have we now come to a new time and place where we recognize that we could no longer beg for the love, acknowledgement or respect of any group?” Pinkett Smith said in her video post.
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“The Academy has the right to acknowledge whoever they choose,” she went on. “To invite whoever they choose. And now I think that it’s our responsibility now to make the change. Maybe it is time we pull back our resources and we put them back into our communities.”